Family Trees May Bear Fruit

Apr 5, 2023 | Isle of Man

Maria Bridson, Head of Immigration at BridsonHalsall Advocates, discusses the opportunities to migrate to the Isle of Man if you or your spouse has British ancestry, or in some cases if you have a grandparent with Irish ancestry.

Usually the first question I ask people who are exploring their options to move to the Isle of Man is – can you tell me about your family history?

The reason is sometimes it turns out that the person or their spouse is already a British Citizen (even if they were born outside the UK) and so have an existing right to live and work in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.  In these circumstances it may be possible to apply for a letter confirming their British citizenship and for a British passport. It’s a complex area because only some types of British Citizenship status can be passed down to the next generation, but it’s always worth exploring.

If that doesn’t apply to you then it’s worth delving further back in your family tree in case a grandparent of either you or your spouse was born anywhere in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales), the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. This route can also be used by a Commonwealth citizen with at least one grandparent who was born in Southern Ireland prior to 1922 (i.e. a grandparent born before partition in one of the 26 counties which are now in the Republic of Ireland).  In these cases you may be eligible to apply for an Ancestry visa.  Ancestry visas are pretty much top of my list when it comes to favourite visa routes because they offer many benefits and great flexibility. This visa route means that …

  • You can work for any employer (rather than being sponsored by a named employer)
  • You can be self-employed
  • You can bring family members
  • No English language test is required
  • No specified amount of savings is needed as proof of maintenance

This visa category grants an initial duration of five years leading to permanent residency in the Isle of Man and the ability to apply for British Citizenship after the required period.

Unlike the United Kingdom there is no advance payment of the Immigration Health Charge meaning an Isle of Man application can save you and your family thousands of pounds in fees.

The first step is to speak to your relatives and draw up your family tree. If your recent ancestors include a British Citizen then you will need to gather the documents required to prove your claim – usually birth and marriage certificates. Applicants also need to show they are planning to work in the Isle of Man and so need to find a job offer, prepare a CV showing work history to date or a business plan if you aim to be self employed. 

So, once you have done your family history research, get in touch with the team at BridsonHalsall who can provide the help and support needed to make a successful application.

BridsonHalsall Advocates Limited is an incorporated legal practice in the Isle of Man with registered number 125732C and  regulated by the Isle of Man law Society.